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The City & The City Audiobook

The City & The City

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author China Mieville delivers his most accomplished novel yet, an existential thriller set in a city unlike any other, real or imagined.

When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlof the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined.

Borl must travel from the decaying Beszel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own. This is a border crossing like no other, a journey as psychic as it is physical, a shift in perception, a seeing of the unseen. His destination is Beszel's equal, rival, and intimate neighbor, the rich and vibrant city of Ul Qoma.

With Ul Qoman detective Qussim Dhatt, and struggling with his own transition, Borl is enmeshed in a sordid underworld of rabid nationalists intent on destroying their neighboring city, and unificationists who dream of dissolving the two into one. As the detectives uncover the dead woman's secrets, they begin to suspect a truth that could cost them and those they care about more than their lives.

What stands against them are murderous powers in Beszel and in Ul Qoma: and, most terrifying of all, that which lies between these two cities.

Casting shades of Kafka and Philip K. Dick, Raymond Chandler and 1984, The City & the City is a murder mystery taken to dazzling metaphysical and artistic heights.

©2009 China Mieville; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 2010

"Daring and disturbing...Miéville illuminates fundamental and unsettling questions about culture, governance and the shadowy differences that keep us apart." (Walter Mosley, author of Devil in a Blue Dress)
"An excellent police procedural and a fascinating urban fantasy, this is essential reading for all mystery and fantasy fans." (Booklist)

"Mr. Miéville's novels - seven so far - have been showered with prizes; three have won the Arthur C. Clarke award, given annually to the best science fiction novel published in Britain…. [H]e stands out from the crowd for the quality, mischievousness and erudition of his writing…. Among the many topics that bubble beneath the wild imagination at play are millennial anxiety, religious cults, the relationship between the citizen and the state and the role of fate and free will." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1194 )
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4.3 (744 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Trent United States 02-19-11
    Trent United States 02-19-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Not worth the time"

    I had Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" in my head when I read the synopsis of this book. It is nothing like that. In fact, the author uses made-up terms in a manner that just assumes you already understand them. So much so that for the first 2 hours I thought I was listening to the wrong book because it really didn't seem to match the description. Even after I started to put the pieces together, the plot was just not interesting to me. The author went so far out of his way to manufacture a compelling plot that it felt as such. Unfortunately for me, I have a hard time refusing to consume something that I've paid for, so I suffered through this overly drawn-out work for no good reason.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Halifax, NS, Canada 01-03-11
    David Halifax, NS, Canada 01-03-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fabulous"

    A perfect fantasy novel. Mieville creates a bizarre setting and makes it feel completely plausible. He then explores every possible permutation of it, drawing out the richness in the central conceit. It's a tour de force.

    The reader is slightly irritating at first - he keeps pausing before the some of the hard-to-pronounce words - but you'll get used to his odd diction, and in a way it rather suits the novel, giving it a sense of foreignness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent Valandra 11-29-10 Member Since 2014

    Kent Sr.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Tough Leap"

    The author has a very creative idea about two cities belonging to rival nations. The people are trained not to see what goes on in the "other city" even when it is right in front of them. But after while this gets old and, finally, irritating. I stuck with the entire book and enjoyed it from time to time, but cannot recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Nassau Bay, TX, United States 10-17-10
    Steven Nassau Bay, TX, United States 10-17-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How you can be two places at once!"

    Our world has had divided cities, Berlin wih it's wall, Jerusalem pre 1967, etc. In this novel there is a divided city split on quantum physics (That is my guess as i's never really fully explaned) where people in one can see those in the other, but are trained not to. It's as if there are two city maps one on top of the there, at some places they are the same, at others totally distinct. Once you get this premise down it is just a detective story, but set in a very different type of location. The novelty and writing skill come in making this seem plausible and in making the story utilize the uniqueness of this enviornment. I thought it was very well done. I also liked Perdido Street Station by the same author very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Lisle, IL, United States 10-08-10
    Robert Lisle, IL, United States 10-08-10 Member Since 2016
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    "Not really sci-fi"

    I know this shared a Hugo Award, but I am not sure why this is considered science fiction. It is a decent detective story, taking place in the present day with no real mention of technology other than some "artifacts" that are never talked about in detail.

    OK as a detective read, but as science fiction I was dissapointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elltten Oceanside, CA, United States 10-03-10
    Elltten Oceanside, CA, United States 10-03-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "City and the City was outstanding"

    I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, the plot was original, the characters compelling and the end was satisfying. The author did such an excellent job building the unique landscape of the story. The story itself is a little complex and not for someone looking for a light plot. I also love the parallels that can be drawn with other border and immigration issues that we encounter around the world.
    This book would make a great movie!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Atlanta, GA, United States 09-24-10
    James Atlanta, GA, United States 09-24-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Better than a sleeping pill"

    Monotone and confusing with no sense of meaningful direction. Such a waste. Wish I could ask for a refund.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    l.e. santa monica, california, United States 09-12-10
    l.e. santa monica, california, United States 09-12-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a great ride"

    even if i had to unsee most of it, one of the best english language writers....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jovan Baltimore, MD, USA 11-07-09
    Jovan Baltimore, MD, USA 11-07-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting concept but confusing"

    The book introduced an interesting concept of parallel cities; however, the concept was confusing and extremely difficult to visualize.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-06-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fabulous"

    I've never read anything like this before -- A hard-boiled detective novel wrapped up in a fantastial, weird, off-kilter world. What a story and what a ride.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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